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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Objections Answered

Objections Answered.

Few acts which the Methodist Conference ever performed have been the occasion of so much misapprehension and clamour, as the recent expulsions which we have just described. With reference to them, the walls in some of our large towns have been covered with placards; public meetings announced; platforms erected; speeches delivered; resolutions proposed, seconded, and adopted, with every indication of strong excitement; and many good people have been frightened with the thought that Methodist Preachers are going to overturn all liberty, civil and religious, and either to introduce the Papal Inquisition, or something worse. Let us examine a few of the most popular topics of declamation that have been advanced in the shape of argument, and see whether or not they admit of a satisfactory answer.

1. It is said that the Conference by its recent acts of expulsion has violated its own recognised rules.

When any Preacher is accused, those rules provide that the charge which is preferred against him shall be given to him in writing, with the name of the accuser; and after hearing the evidence and the defence, the court to which the matter is referred for adjudication, shall pronounce a sentence of acquittal or of condemnation as the case may be. This course was not followed by the late Conference; and hence it is contended that the men who have been page 37 expelled, have just ground of complaint. Their expulsion was unconstitutional, and therefore unrighteous.

The answer is, that the design of law is to impose a restraint upon evil. "The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." In the advancement of time, evil assumes an endless variety of new forms, against which human legislation has never yet been able effectually to provide. Hence it is that all regular governments have a provision for extraordinary emergencies. There are times when some of the most important parts of the British constitution are held in abeyance, and personal liberty is therefore infringed upon; but the people submit to these inconveniences without a murmur, because the safety of the state requires it; and that safety they justly regard as the supreme law, which must be secured at all hazards, and by every kind of sacrifice. So it is in Methodism, which requires an annual examination of all its Ministers. That examination, as we have seen, is partly personal. "Does he believe and teach our doctrines?" is a question which no man can satisfactorily answer for another. Every man is therefore expected to answer it for himself. The same is true with respect to the approval and enforcement of our discipline, concerning which inquiry is also made every year. These inquiries are not made as matters of idle form, but with a reference to ulterior proceedings; and hence the answers which are given to them in District-Meetings are always reported to the Conference, as the supreme authority under God. If it be found, when these inquiries are made, that any man has seriously departed from the truth, or suffered the discipline of the body to be trampled upon in his Circuit, he is admonished, or laid aside, according to the circumstances of the case. The men who have just been expelled were admitted into connexion with the Conference after a personal examination; they received, at the time of their admission, a copy of the form of discipline, with an inscription, signed by the President and Secretary of the Conference, "So long as you freely consent to, and ear- page 38 nestly endeavour to walk by, these rules, we shall rejoice to acknowledge you as a fellow-labourer;"* clearly implying, that, if they should at any time cease to "consent" to them, and to "walk" by them, the Conference would cease to "acknowledge" them "as fellow-labourers." This was not only the implied condition of their union with the Conference, but the stipulated and recorded condition. Up to the time of the last Conference these men acted according to their original pledge; but then, being questioned on a subject which affected their honour and morality, they set the Conference at defiance, and thus peremptorily refused any longer to observe the discipline, a professed subjection to which was one ground of their admission into connexion with that body.

It is confessed that in this instance the recognised practice of personal examination was applied to a new subject, the authorship and publication of certain pamphlets; and that no example is upon record in which men were expelled for refusing to answer questions precisely similar to those which are now under consideration. This is indeed matter of thankfulness to God. The Conference has existed for a hundred and five years, and was never before humbled and disgraced by the astounding discovery among its members of such a conspiracy as that which has lately been brought to light. Never before was it known that a company of Methodist Preachers bound themselves together, if not by an oath, yet by something resembling it, to propagate falsehood and slander by means of a clandestine press, for the purpose of destroying the reputation of their brethren, while they were accustomed to meet those brethren with smiles, and profess towards them a perfect cordiality. If the proceeding of the Conference was novel, so was the crime with which it was called to deal. That Mr. Wesley, with all his tact and forethought, and with all his knowledge of the baseness to which fallen human nature can stoop, should not have contemplated

* Minutes, vol. i., p. 30.

page 39 such a conspiracy, and that it should not have been contemplated by the Conference in any of its legislative acts, may be readily conceived; and we may fairly hope that many centuries will pass away before another conspiracy, equally dark and hateful, will be formed. In dealing with this vile case, however, it is clear that the Conference has acted upon no new principle, and has therefore violated none of its own regulations.

Nor must it be forgotten, that Methodist Preachers, met together in their annual Conference, are not an assembly of Lawyers, who are retained for the purpose of assisting delinquents in extricating themselves from the meshes of law, by the discovery of technical difficulties and objections; but a body of plain, honest men, whose duty and aim it is to visit sin, by whomsoever it may be committed, with appropriate penalties, and in the fear of God to preserve in untainted holiness and efficiency the ministry with which they are intrusted. Such was John Wesley's course of proceeding; and the men who bear his honoured name can honestly say, "We are all one man's sons; we are true men." If it be right that they should every year examine one another as to their soundness in the faith, and their continued attachment to the economy of the body, to which they are solemnly pledged, these "true men" cannot perceive that it is either conventionally or morally wrong, in a season of peculiar emergency, to ask one another whether or not they are addicted to the practice of secret immorality, like that of "Fly-Sheet" lying and defamation.

2. It is further objected, that the expulsions have taken place under a law which is but of recent origin, being unknown in Methodism till the year 1835; a law, therefore, which Mr. Wesley never sanctioned, and which none of his Preachers were required to observe for nearly one hundred years.

This law, as it is called, is given p. 16, of this pamphlet, and need not be here repeated. The reader, however, is requested to turn to it, that he may at once perceive the page 40 character of the objection which has been urged, again and again, in speeches at public meetings, and even embodied in Resolutions, which are said to have been carried by acclamation. The answer is, that the objection is utterly unfounded, and shows with what haste even some good people have permitted themselves to judge of a subject which they never took the pains to understand. They have even pledged themselves to persevere in a course of agitation, till the rule, as they are pleased to denominate it, shall be expunged from the statute-book of the Connexion, lest other expulsions should be effected under its sanction. Whereas the fact is, as every one may see, no man was ever expelled under that rule, and never can be. It is, in fact, an explanatory declaration respecting the duties and rights of District-Meetings. But District-Meetings, as such, have no power of expulsion, and never had. That some Local Preachers, Class-Leaders, Circuit and Society Stewards, should have adopted Resolutions, and circulated them by means of the press to the widest possible extent, embodying so palpable a misstatement, is deeply to be lamented, and must be to themselves, when they shall reflect upon the matter, an occasion of unfeigned regret.

Officers in the Wesleyan body, who have suffered themselves to be thus misled, we conceive are all bound, as Christian men, to send forth counter-statements through the three kingdoms, with their own signatures affixed, recalling their former Resolutions, and asking pardon of the Ministers whom they were bound highly to esteem for their work's sake, but whom they have openly misrepresented and traduced. The late expulsions took place under no law of 1835, but under the common law of Methodism; the law upon which Mr. Wesley acted through the entire course of his public life, and upon which the Conference has invariably acted since his death; the law of examining all the Ministers connected with it every year, and of discarding all such as, in its conscientious judgment, are unfit any longer to be employed under page 41 its direction. Upon these terms Mr. Wesley received all the Preachers that laboured in connexion with him; upon these terms every Preacher, without exception, is received by the Conference; and upon these terms the expelled men themselves were all received, and were continued, up to the very time of their expulsion.

3. It is alleged, that the manner in which the expulsions were effected was un-English, because the men were required to answer questions which might fix upon themselves the charge of moral blame. Whereas no Englishman is bound to criminate himself.

This is a very popular objection; but it will not bear the test of a strict scrutiny. In our courts of justice, indeed, persons who are under criminal charges are not required to say anything that might be of disservice to them in their defence; and cautions to this effect are often humanely given to them both by Magistrates and Judges. But then it is equally true that persons who are arraigned at our criminal tribunals are not the only people that have to do with English law and English usage. Even in our criminal courts, witnesses are often not only compelled to appear, but to submit to a searching examination as to the past transactions of their lives, and to disclose facts which inflict a permanent injury upon their reputation; for without such examinations the ends of public justice could not be secured. In the Court of Chancery parties are treated in a somewhat similar manner, being compelled to give distinct and explicit answers to questions, which for ever damage their own character. Who has not read in the public papers the torturing examinations to which insolvent debtors are compelled to submit in the Court of Bankruptcy? In the County Courts, in the department of the Customs and of the Excise, and in the enforcement of the Income Tax, the system of personal examination is pursued, to the great annoyance of parties whose intentions are not perfectly upright.

The same course is pursued in domestic life, and among professional and commercial men. When any mischief page 42 occurs in a family, is it not the universal practice to question the children and servants as to their participation in it? Who deems such inquiries "un-English?" or will be satisfied with less than an explicit answer? What company of naval or military officers, or society of literary or of scientific men, would remain silent, when it had been ascertained that one or more of themselves had published a libel upon the rest? Suppose a company of men to enter into a partnership, for the purpose of conducting to their mutual advantage any particular business; and after they have for some time prosecuted their plans with success, they find that one of themselves is, by some secret process, counterworking the rest, so as to secure his own gain, and their ruin; would not the injured men feel themselves entitled to ask every member of their fraternity, whether or not he was the guilty man? Would the plea of "English liberty" avail to screen any one of them from the inquiry, and from the obligation to return an explicit answer? And would not measures be immediately taken to dissolve all partnership with the man who should pertinaciously say, "I will meet any charges that you have to prefer; but I will answer no questions?"

With respect to the questioning of Englishmen on matters which affect their own reputation, we would invite attention to that very solemn form of adjuration with which the marriage-service of the Church of England begins. Thus the proposed bridegroom and his spouse are addressed from the altar: "I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment why ye may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their matrimony lawful."

The following principles are involved in this solemn appeal:—(1.) That there may be something in existence which would render a proposed marriage sinful in the sight page 43 of God. (2.) That one or both of the parties may have a knowledge of this fact. (3.) That they have, nevertheless, come to the house of God for the express purpose of doing that which they know He has forbidden. (4.) That a third party may and ought, in a matter of such importance, to interpose, by solemn inquiry, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not there is any guilty concealment in the case. (5.) That the parties are bound to confess this secret, so that the sin may not be actually committed. It cannot be said, that this example of questioning, with the design of bringing to light possible criminality, is "un-English;" for it received the sanction of the English Legislature ages ago; and millions of English people, of both sexes, and of every grade in society, have for several generations submitted to it without a murmur.

When these facts are duly considered, perhaps it will be thought that to ask questions respecting personal conduct is not quite so alien from English practice as some people have hastily supposed; and certainly examples of it occur in holy Scripture, and that under the direct sanction of Almighty God, whose own recognised servants were employed in making the inquiries. "And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done." (Joshua vii. 19, 20.) The question which St. Peter addressed to Sapphira had a similar bearing. She and her husband had agreed together to practise deceit, "And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?" This question was followed by the repetition of a lie, which was punished with instant death. (Acts v. 8—10.)

4. It has been urged, as an objection against the Conference, that before it proceeded to deal with the supposed writers of the "Fly-Sheets," it ought to have instituted page 44 an inquiry into the truth of the charges which these pamphlets contain.

This language is held by several parties, who profess to be the friends of Methodism, and of fair-dealing; but with singular injustice and inconsideration. Here are certain accusers; but they are nameless and intangible, and they adduce no proof of their allegations; the parties accused avow their innocence, and challenge investigation; the Conference does not believe the charges, but is ready to hear evidence, if any man, or body of men, will come forward and produce it. Let, then, the men who in printed Resolutions insinuate their belief of the "Fly-Sheet" slanders, and therefore call for investigation,—that it may be ascertained whether some of the most esteemed and useful Ministers that the Wesleyan body ever knew are not in reality worthless knaves,—themselves come forward as accusers and witnesses, if they have anything to say, and any right to be heard; or, as Mr. Wesley said in a similar case, let them hereafter for ever hold their peace. This is the only course that is open to them as honourable men.

5. It is objected that the proceedings of the late Conference were "tyrannical," "cruel," and "an infringement upon the rights of Englishmen."

Let us examine these charges in detail. The Conference is accused of "tyranny" in proposing certain questions to some of its members, and requiring of them a promise as to their future conduct. "What light," it has been said, "had the Conference either to propose the questions, or to demand the promise?" The answer is, The Conference had the right, because the parties had conceded it of their own free will; and if they wished to withdraw the concession, their duty was quietly to retire. The Conference has no right over any of its members, but what is thus conceded. It is intrusted with the appointment of men to the occupancy of the Wesleyan pulpits; but they must be men of certain peculiarities of character, holding certain tenets, and pledged to a certain course of moral conduct and of church order. Persons who prefer page 45 this ministry offer themselves as Candidates for it; they voluntarily submit to the required examinations, and, if approved, engage to comply with all the regulations and usages of the body with which they are united. As their entrance into this ministry is voluntary, so is their continuance in it. No man is compelled to remain in it an hour longer than he feels it to be a privilege and a duty. To talk of "tyranny" is palpably absurd where all is perfectly optional.

As to "torture" under the questionings of the Conference, and "torture" compared with that of the Romish Inquisition, if there was any, it could only arise from an uneasy conscience. It can be no "torture" to an innocent man to have an opportunity of declaring his innocence before brethren who are willing to receive his testimony; or even to avow the uprightness of his intentions with respect to the future. In such a case all "torture" implies conscious guilt.

That the discipline under which a Methodist Preacher is placed is "an interference with the rights of Englishmen," is very true, but very irrelevant; for so are the regulations of all voluntary associations into which Englismen think it desirable to enter. An Englishman has a right to keep his money in his pocket; but when he enters into a benefit society, he is bound to certain payments, by which that right is to some extent superseded. An Englishman, as such, is not bound to any particular form of religion. He may be a Deist, or even an Atheist; but when he joins a Methodist society, he must meet in class, read his Bible, sanctify the Sabbath, attend public worship, and adorn the doctrine of his God and Saviour. So when a man enters the Wesleyan ministry, he comes under an obligation to observe all the rules by which that ministry is controlled and directed. But having done this of his own choice, he is still a free man; for even the discipline to which he submits is beneficial; and if it be not so regarded, he can shake it off whenever he pleases. page 46 To complain of being shackled by the rules of a voluntary association is the perfection of folly. Why were the shackles put on, why are they worn, if they are not looked upon as a means of securing some important benefit?

6. It is alleged that the expelled Ministers would have dishonoured themselves, if they had submitted to answer the questions which the Conference proposed to them; and that the questions therefore ought not to have been proposed. One of the men who refused to answer, urged this plea repeatedly: "I cannot answer," said he; "for were I to do so, I should feel myself dishonoured."

To show the unsatisfactory nature of this excuse, we would observe that the feeling of personal honour is a very equivocal rule of duty among Christian people. The confession of sin to God is always required; and the confession of it to men is often matter of imperative obligation. But when a man knows himself to be innocent of a suspected crime, he cannot be dishonoured by declaring the truth. Upwards of eleven hundred Wesleyan Ministers have declared their innocence of the "Fly-Sheet" sin, and are held in undiminished respect by every pureminded man.

But it may be asked, How have wise and good men generally acted in similar cases, when evil has been imputed to them, or they have been under suspicion? Hear John Wesley, speaking of himself, when he was clamorously assailed by the Dublin press, at the close of his upright and eventful life! "This is my answer to them that trouble me, and will not let my grey hairs go down to the grave in peace. I am not a man of duplicity: I am not an old hypocrite, a double-tongued knave. More than forty years I have frequented Ireland. I have wished to do some good there. I now tell a plain tale, that the good which is in me may not be evil spoken of. I have no temporal end to serve. I seek not the honour that cometh of men. It is not for pleasure that, at this time of life, I travel three or four thousand miles a year. It is not for gain.

page 47

'No foot of land do I posses
No cottage in this wilderness;
A poor way-faring man,
I lodge awhile in tents below,
Or gladly wander to and fro,
Till I my Canaan gain.'"*

When Charles Wesley was basely slandered by an apostate Methodist, of the name of Williams, in the year 1744, he published a hymn, from which the following stanzas are selected:—

"O my Galilean King,
Can I glory in this shame?
Can I this dishonour bring
As a suffering for thy Name?
Lord, Thou know'st, and Thou alone,
All our hearts to Thee are known.

"Naked, and without disguise,
In Thy sight my spirit stands;
Have I not from outward vice
Wash'd in innocence my hands,
From the great transgression free?
Lord, I dare appeal to Thee!

"Inwardly, like other men,
Wholly born in sin I am;
Only Thou didst still restrain
For the honour of thy Name;
Kept by Thine almighty grace,
Thee I render all the praise!"

But we have higher authority to plead than even that of the Wesleys. The inspired Apostles of our Lord did not hesitate to avow their own moral integrity when it was called in question, and when their ministry was therefore in danger of being despised. Thus the Apostle of the Gentiles speaks of himself, and of his brethren: "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor hand-

* Wesley's Works, vol. xiii., pp. 237, 238. Octavo edit,

Charles Wesley's Journal, vol. i., pp. 390, 391.

page 48 ling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Cor. iv. 1, 2.) "Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man." (2 Cor. vii. 2.)

That which was done by the Wesleys, and by the Apostles of our Lord, could be no dishonour to a Methodist Preacher, standing before his brethren in the Conference, supposing him to have a good conscience, and therefore to be under no restraint from an inward sense of guilt.

7. It is further maintained, that in regard of the expulsions which are the subject of our present inquiry, the Conference must be in the wrong, because it is opposed and censured by the public press.

To this we answer, that in many quarters the public press is neutral, having declared no judgment on either side; and that, in several eases, the public press has taken the part of the Conference; especially that section of the press which is characterized by high moral bearing, by consistency of principle, and by the advocacy of sound Protestantism. But let us glance at that portion of the press which is hostile to the Conference, and we shall perhaps find that its opposition can be accounted for, and that it is less formidable than some people have imagined.

First, there is the "Weekly Dispatch," which is decidedly opposed to the Conference in this whole affair. But then this paper is a recognised organ of infidelity and licentiousness in their grossest forms, and is the favourite vehicle of intelligence with Sabbath-breakers, drunkards, and all classes of irreligious people: so that its hostility is incomparably more honourable than its friendship, in all cases where religion and Christian morals are concerned.

Next there is a large class of secular papers, both metropolitan and provincial, which affect a character of liberalism. They are mostly occupied with politics and general intelligence, so as seldom to introduce religion, except when any quarrel among its professors happens to occur, and a hint can be advantageously given that people should page 49 carefully abstain from being "righteous overmuch." The conductors of such journals, of course, think that the expelled men have been harshly treated; for why should the Conference question its members either in respect of their tenets or practices? Other people can believe and act as they please, and why may not Methodist Preachers? To question men respecting points of doctrine and of moral practice, in the estimation of these gentlemen, is as intolerable as the Inquisition, and the proceedings of Laud in the Star Chamber. "The carnal mind is enmity against God;" and religious people only deceive themselves if they suppose that in this "liberal age," that "enmity" has undergone any abatement in unsanctified men. It is as deep and intense as it was when the Wesleys were buffeted by the mobs of Staffordshire; and if Methodist Preachers will still appear as the unflinching advocates of spiritual religion, and of the faith and holiness which the Gospel enjoins, bearing a faithful testimony against sin in all its forms, they may escape the violence of mobs, but they will receive no mercy from the men who deem religious truth of little moment, and would place Popery on a level with Protestantism, and Hindooism with Christianity. And such, to a great extent, is the character of the liberalism with which much of our periodical literature is imbued, but with which true Methodism has no sympathy.

The organs of Popery and Tractarianism are, of course, opposed to the Conference, because its Ministers, having only received Presbyterian ordination, are not in the assumed "apostolical succession;" so that for them to perform ministerial acts is a most unpardonable presumption. The writers of these prints would persuade the Methodists that the exercise of private judgment is connected with so much turmoil, they would do well to wave it, and allow "holy mother church" to think for them, and just tell them what to believe and do; but as we have no confidence in her wisdom, we decline the advice.

We must not forget the Dissenting press, which is bit- page 50 terly hostile to the Conference, as it always has been; and for this plain reason,—the Conference is the centre of union to all the Wesleyan societies, and many Dissenters would like to see all those societies transformed into Independent churches, after their own example. There is also another ground of hostility. Within the last few years some of the Dissenters have put forth strenuous efforts to effect a separation between the Church and the State, and have not succeeded. They wished the Conference to join them in this enterprise, and were refused; its members feeling that, whatever the opinions of individuals among themselves might be, as this was no object of their union, so it would neither be respectful to their Founder, nor consistent with their own often-repeated professions. On these grounds, and others that might be named, the Dissenting journalists, without any intentional provocation from the Wesleyans, pour forth against the five or six hundred Ministers, who composed the late Conference, the most intolerant and disgraceful vituperations.

Far be it from us to include the entire body of English Dissenters in this censure. Not a few of them breathe the spirit of Christian toleration, while they profess its principles. Some of these, it is probable, without any feeling of hostility to their Wesleyan brethren, not perceiving the exact nature of the relation in which Methodist Ministers stand to each other, may think that the Con-ference has acted with undue severity in its recent expulsions. Let us, then, suppose the case of an Independent or of a Baptist Minister, who has a co-Pastor. They occupy the same pulpit, they teach the same doctrine, they administer together the memorials of redeeming mercy, they sustain the same pastoral relation; and are thus united by the most sacred ties that can by possibility bind man to man; at the same time that they have by solemn vows bound themselves to the strict observance of an unchangeable fidelity. After labouring together in harmony and with success for many years, the senior Minister is surprised by the appearance and circulation of a pamphlet, page 51 reflecting in the severest terms upon his public and personal character, and also upon the character of his family. It represents him as indolent, ambitious, selfish, extravagant in his habits, intemperate, and morally dishonest. The pamphlet bears no name of either printer or author. It is followed by a second, a third, and a fourth; and the system of annoyance is carried on for three or four years with unmitigated malignity, till the friends of the persecuted man are staggered, his usefulness as a Minister is impaired, and his family distressed. He mentions the case to the members of his church, and to various persons belonging to his congregation, and expresses an anxious desire to discover the author of the mischief. They declare, as with one voice, that, beyond all doubt, his co-Pastor is the man; for the pamphlets breathe his bitter and sarcastic spirit; they embody things which he has often been heard to utter in conversation; they accord with his well-known habit of anonymous writing, and they correspond with his usual style. We ask, Would not this injured Minister be bound to mention these suspicions to his co-Pastor, and ask him whether they were true or not? Would not justice both to himself and his colleague require this? justice to himself, as deeply injured; and justice to the other, who might be innocent, and should therefore have an opportunity of dealing himself. Suppose that the suspected man, instead of giving a frank and candid answer, and of expressing sympathy with his suffering brother, should assume an air of importance, talk of his rights as an Englishman, and, in a tone of insult, should say, "If you have any evidence against me, produce it: but I will answer none of your questions. I defy you." Would not the injured man be justified in believing the worst, and in saying, "I am not at present provided with direct evidence of your guilt; but since you deny me all assurance that you are innocent of this act of enormous immorality, our co-pastorship must now end: I can never publicly acknowledge as a brother Minister a man who is universally suspected of such wickedness, and page 52 who will not even deny it; because such conduct would, on my part, be a tacit confession that I am guilty of the things which are laid to my charge?" Supply the names, and all the particulars of this supposed case are applicable to the Conference and to the men whom it has expelled.

In the category of hostile journals we must also place a weekly print, whose title and contents form a perfect contrast to each other. It is one of a scries of publications, by which it has been attempted, under the name of Wesley, to pull down what it was the business of John Wesley's life to build up. Its efforts are incessantly directed to the setting of young Ministers in the Wesleyan body against aged Ministers, the Local Preachers against the Itinerant Preachers, the societies against their Pastors, the Connexion against the Conference, and evangelical Christians in general against the Wesleyan Missionary Society. The title which this print bears is as palpable a fraud as would be a periodical defence of Popery under the name of Luther; of sedition under the name of Wellington; or of infidelity under the name of St. Paul. Religious people who imbibe the spirit of this print will inevitably in the same proportion lose their piety. They will cease to be charitable, prayerful, and happy; and will become jealous, malignant, and disputatious; and parents who place it within the reach of their children will soon see their unsuspecting offspring loathe the very name of Christian godliness. One of the greatest injuries that can by possibility be inflicted upon a youthful mind, is the exhibition of incessant reviling in connexion with a profession of spiritual religion.